The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012: Top Five Gardens

by Su Whale on May 24, 2012

Kelways Garden at ChelseaChoosing five favourites at Chelsea is an almost impossible task considering how incredible the designs are and how high the standard of workmanship is. I decided to go for exhibits that, in my opinion, really had the ‘wow’ factor.

So here is my ‘wow’ factor top five (in no particular order!)

Perfect Peonies in The Great Pavilion

Kelways GardenAs a florist I can’t resist peonies, so colourful and blowsy and many are delicately scented as well. A great favourite with brides this year looking for vintage styling, these peonies at Chelsea were the best of the bunch. I really loved ‘Bowl of Beauty’, with its delicate pink papery petals which resembled a water lily when fully open. I also loved, (but couldn’t possibly afford) a beautiful salmon coloured peony, a brand new introduction that reportedly cost £400 a plant!

Laurent-Perrier Bicentenary Garden

The Laurent-Perrier Bicentenary GardenChoosing a show garden is always a tough call, but this garden, inspired by the champagne makers 200 years heritage really stood out for me. Every element of the garden had been beautifully hand crafted with a mix of traditional and contemporary elements that you would love to have in your own garden. I particularly loved the pebble path, echoed by the pebble water feature that ran around the edge of the garden, which lead you to a secluded, hidden area surrounded by copper coloured topiary trees.

Fresh Gardens – The Soft Machine

Fresh Garden at ChelseaThe fresh gardens are new at Chelsea for 2012; they have no fixed brief and are designed to engage the viewer with their creative use of materials. The garden that ‘engaged’ me featured a growing wall of plants which was watered by man power – a static bicycle that when pedalled pulled water up from an underground tank. The other intriguing feature was three circular tables with Perspex fountains for legs which gave the impression that they were floating in air.

Plant Explorer’s Garden

The Plant Explorer's GardenThis delightful garden was in the Artisan section. Designed by students from the Scottish Agricultural College, this was an area fit for Indigo Jones, with a dilapidated greenhouse and outdoor studio filled with rare plant specimens. Causing quite a stir was the Voodoo Lily, a deep purple flower with a spadix that smells of rotting meat – it’s designed to attract flies, but on a hot day, it might also have the opposite effect of putting off visitors!

Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden

The Nong Nooch Tropical GardenSome exhibits simply stop you in your tracks; and this was one of them. This garden, designed to show off ‘Beautiful Thailand’ had used 80,000 orchids to create an incredible tableaux. The centre piece was a pagoda from which on one side ‘flowed’ a river of white dendrobium orchids on which floated a replica of the Thai royal barge. The whole display took a week to put together and included mini buffalos woven from palm grass – quite incredible.

You can also check out the videos of Su Whale’s Top Five, as well as footage from RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012 by visiting the Interflora Youtube Channel


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Su Whale

Post category: Expert Florist Blogs, Flowers, Guest Blogs, Knowledge, News, RHS Chelsea Flower Show  

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